How do I know it’s a UTI?
- Sometimes you will feel pain and pressure in your lower abdomen (cramps like in low belly) or back. (Please note that women could feel pelvic pain while men could feel rectal pain)
- You will feel the constant nagging urge to urinate even if it’s just a tad of urine you only release.
- Your urine might be cloudy and have a strong unpleasant smell to it and sometimes tinge blood could mix in it. (even if it has a pink color or syrup color this still could mean blood in urine)
- You can feel fatigued and lethargic plus you might become shaky as the UTI becomes worse.
- Stinging feeling or pain when urinating.
- Sudden fever along with the chills which means the infection now entered the kidneys and a doctor should be consulted without delay because this can turn into now a kidney infection.
What can I do to stop this UTI naturally before it gets worse?
- First and foremost if the UTI goes longer than a day with just mild symptoms I highly recommend consulting a physician. Also if you have upper back or side pain (in your flank) , fever above 100.4, chills and shaking, nausea or vomiting or more than just tinge blood in urine, this is when you call you doctor without delay.
- Start with an 8ounce glass of water, followed by a 4 ounce glass of 100% unsweetened cranberry juice (avoid cranberry juice cocktail, which is loaded with added sugar and it’s something bacteria thrive on) and continue this every 2 hours for 8 hours. This will start flushing out the bacteria. Cranberry juice prohibits bacteria to stick to the cell, which line the urinary tract.
- Grab a generous handful of blueberries and eat before each meal. (Blueberries have Vitamin C and a compound called named proanthocyanidins which prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. If you don’t have blueberries you can substitute with unsweetened blueberry juice for optimal results.
- Take a cranberry supplement 2 to 3x a day (preferably morning, noon and night). Aim for a supplement that has at least 300mg of Cranberry with some added Vitamin C (which will assist the cranberry in fighting urinary infections because it helps prevent the bacterial growth due to the acidic environment formed in the bladder and the urinary tract.) I highly recommend and prefer to take one called Nature’s Way Cranberry Standardized 130 tablets (that way you always have on hand if needed) These cranberry pills are effective and have helped stop many beginning stages of UTI”s in my family. We have used these for years with great results. The tablets are easy to swallow and they have 400 mg of Cranberry and 30 mg of Vitamin C.
- For women UTI’s, it helps if you soak in a warm baking soda bath. Get 1 cup of baking soda and had to nicely warm bathwater and soak for 15-20minutes. Do not use bubble baths for this can inflame and cause UTI’s.
- Also you can try twice daily a mixture of 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar with ½ tsp of honey in 5 ounces of warm water and drink.
- Limit your consumption of coffee, tea, soda and any sugary drinks. Drink your water often!
How can I prevent a UTI?
It helps to understand what causes UTI’s in the first place. UTI is triggered by a type of bacteria termed E. coli. This bacterium typically lives in the digestive tract but can cause infection when they make their way by entering the urinary tract. Both men and women can experience a urinary tract infection, but women are 10 times more likely to get this. The reason is due to the shorter urethral canal in women. So below are some suggestions for preventions of UTI’s.
- Drink plenty of water daily, for this helps flush out bacteria in your system.
- Wipe from front to back when you go to the bathroom. This is especially important after a bowel movement to always wipe from front to back because this prevents from pushing bacteria closer to your urethra. Also never wipe twice with the same tissue paper.
- Produce an environment unwelcoming to the bacteria by drinking unsweetened cranberry juice (again remember to avoid cranberry juice cocktail, which is loaded with added sugar and it’s something bacteria thrive on) plus start taking a cranberry supplement. Cranberry has been celebrated as an effective UTI-fighting agent. Essentially what it does is change the surface of E. coli bacteria so that it cannot bind to the urinary tract plus they are loaded with antioxidants that can help prevent bacteria in the urinary tract from attaching to the bladder wall. (Please note: avoid cranberry juice if you have kidney stones, if it runs in your family or you've had them before, and if you take the drug warfarin)
- Try to wear clean fabric cotton underwear. The moist, warm environment required for bacteria to multiply in will be discouraged and this fabric is breathable which allows for circulation. Don’t wear skin tight clothes either and always change a wet bathing suit once done, don’t sit around in it.
- Sexually active women have more of a tendency to get UTI’s. Each time after sex try to urinate shortly after to get rid of any bacteria that have been presented to the body and may spread to the urethra.
- Limit drinking coffee, tea, sodas or energy drinks when you have a UTI. These can excite your urinary tract and digestive, which isn’t ideal because you’re trying to calm down the system. The drinks mention most have caffeine and caffeine is a natural stimulant like in coffee or teas. Also soda and energy drinks acts as a diuretic because of the amount of caffeine that it contains and this stimulates your bladder. All these drinks are problematic because they stimulate your bladder and give you a sense of urgency to urinate.
- Avoid the sugary laden foods. Cookies, candy, soda, and other foods plus drinks made with refined sugar or high-fructose corn syrup (HFC) build an environment that bacteria flourish in and multiply, making UTI more probable. Consume natural sources of sugar like fresh fruits.